The idea of reducing your workload may seem utopic when your time and resources are completely consumed, but it is not impossible. When we find ourselves “in the weeds” the best decision we can make is to take a moment to reorganize our priorities and try to understand our pain points better so we can move forward more diligently with our tasks. The following will provide you with 6 thoughts on how to reduce your workload through Co-managed IT Services.
1.Acknowledge You Can’t Do It All
Yes, we want to do it all. Is it realistic? No. Sometimes in the race to improve productivity we lose efficiency because the amount of time and detail we place into each task is diluted by every additional function we must perform, especially when we are working with a limited staff. The key to maximizing productivity is finding the balance between lowering the amount of time it takes to perform an objective correctly and increasing volume within a designated period. If you become over saturated trying to “do it all” it is going to be impossible to allocate the same proficiency into performing the duties your organization excels at. By leaning on the aid of a Managed Service Provider you can distribute secondary tasks that are consuming your resources to a company that specializes in that duty so you can focus on improving the quality of your core activities.
2.Focus on Your Unique Strengths
Every organization has a core activity or a strength they were founded on. This goes without saying; an Accounting firm is focused on accounting, Law firms on the Judicial system, Hospitals on Healthcare, Car Dealerships on selling cars, Managed Service Providers -excellent IT management skills etc., the list goes on infinitely through all industries. This means; using a previous example, a hospital may have to allocate additional funding and resources to architect an IT infrastructure from scratch. If it is their first time taking on such a job, the project may not run as smoothly due to unknown complications. For example: H.R may have complications, the investment could be greater as a result of hiccups in the process, and this is because the hospital is essentially developing an idea from zero without being Subject Matter Experts. It would be more effective if the hospital were to focus solely on healthcare, while seeking out the guidance of a Managed Service Provider which is an expert at designing IT infrastructures. Because the Managed Service Provider’s unique strength is designing and maintaining IT infrastructures it will not be their first time laying out a project design, which in turn will make the endeavor run more smoothly and with less resources.
3.Use the Strengths of Your Team Members
Every great organization has a strong team that is comprised of individuals with different backgrounds and talents who work together in harmony to accomplish a common goal. When attempting to reduce your workload each team member is required to pull their own weight, and sometimes the weight of their department to move forward. When leveraging the strength of your team it’s important to identity their skills and make sure they are focused on tasks where they excel. Since we are referencing the reduction of an IT workload in this article, our focus is to harness the strength of your IT department through a Co-managed Service Provider model. This is where a Managed Service partner provides resources to help your department achieve success in the form of staffing, hardware, software, or other areas that would complement your operational goals. The Managed Service Partner would fully incorporate into your IT department with expert knowledge, adapting to your organization’s functions. They can help in offsetting the workload by aiding in your staffing need or manage the entire department acting as a CTO, where in both scenarios they fully integrate to become a pillar of strength in your team structure bringing best practice and expertise to your organization.
4.Take Time for Planning
When aiming to reduce your workload it’s important to take a methodical approach to prioritizing tasks. By organizing your agenda, and to-do lists you can remove the doubt of whether you are hitting your KPIs. The feeling of being overwhelmed can often be traced back to lack of organization or trying to accomplish too much at once. Whether your company is experiencing rapid growth, or simply overwhelmed by the level of activity that needs to be addressed, taking time for planning is crucial to lower workload. Running an organization without proper planning can be chaotic at the very least, if your IT department is swamped with follow-ups and active tickets that need addressing, especially if understaffed, it can leave vulnerabilities in other areas that need a more proactive approach to prevent critical issues from occurring. When working with a Co-managed Service Partner they will provide a technical roadmap and approach that will keep your organization informed every step of the way, taking out ambiguities that may arise when attempting to tackle everything at once with an understaffed IT department. By mapping out your approach with a Co-managed Service Partner you gain accountability and tracking of your most important tasks, in turn reducing the stress associated with feeling lost in your organizational goals.
5.Work with On Demand Services
Part of reducing your workload is lowering the amount of time and resources that it takes to trouble shoot a problem or come up with a solution for an ongoing issue. Depending on the complexity of the issue, finding a solution with your in-house IT staff could prove costly because the knowhow may be outside their reach, and while they are spending hours trying to solve the issue, the cost of that time isn’t recovered unless you resolve the issue. By working through an On Demand Service you can purchase an allocation of resources at a reduced rate from a Managed Service Provider then have access to Subject Matter Experts who will greatly lower the time invested into finding a solution. An On-demand style agreement can lower your workload, because rather than distracting your team from their current activities you can call on assistance from extremely specialized professionals. This will decrease the level of complication your team would encounter when you stretch your resources or spend time trying to resolve a matter outside of their expertise.
6.Delegate time to focus on smaller or larger tasks
As we focus on lowering the workload of an oversaturated IT department, we should take into consideration that they are most likely indiscriminately working on smaller and larger tasks simultaneously, which can lead to oversaturation when resources are spread thin, or deadlines are nearing. This means that internal resources are being used to work on smaller or lower priority items, while they are also being assigned to work on larger scale projects, both having several moving parts that need attention. This can have adverse effects on your goals and deadlines because you are trying to do too many things at once which can lower quality of output and create delays when things do not go as expected. By adopting a Co-managed IT infrastructure, you can allocate high priority or low priority tasks to an organization that works exclusively on what they were assigned so that you can free up best resources to focus on your mission critical objectives.
A heavy workload can be tough on stakeholders and can cause stress, employee burnout, and ongoing frustration from delays in completing goals. It is important to tackle these issues head-on, rather than letting it accumulate to a point where it affects performance and morale. Hopefully, the thoughts mentioned in this article inspired you to consider offsetting some of your workload through a Co-managed Service model.